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Copper-doped TiO2 photocatalysts: application to drinking water by humic matter degradation

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The aim of this study was to determine the photocatalytic performance of copper-doped TiO2 (Cu-TiO2) specimens on the degradation of dissolved organic matter (DOM) represented by a model humic acid (HA). TiO2 was synthesized by sol-gel method from an alkoxide precursor. Cu-doped TiO2 specimens containing 0.25 wt% and 0.50 wt% Cu were prepared by wet impregnation method using sol-gel synthesized as well as bare TiO2 P-25 and characterized by XRD, SEM, XPS, Raman spectroscopy, UV-DRS, and BET measurements. Their photocatalytic activities were evaluated with regard to degradation kinetics of HA in terms of UV-vis and fluorescence spectroscopic parameters and organic contents. HA fluorescence excitation emission matrix (EEM) contour plots indicated that the solar photocatalytic degradation pathway was TiO2-type specific and Cu dopant content.

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The authors are thankful to Prof Neren Okte, Bogazici University, Chemistry Department, for BET and UV-DRS measurements. The authors are also thankful to Assoc. Prof. Serap Acar Derman, Yildiz Technical University, Department of Bioengineering for zeta potential measurements.


Financial support provided by the Research Fund of Bogazici University through Project No: 13381 is gratefully acknowledged.

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Correspondence to Miray Bekbolet.

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Turkten, N., Cinar, Z., Tomruk, A. et al. Copper-doped TiO2 photocatalysts: application to drinking water by humic matter degradation. Environ Sci Pollut Res 26, 36096–36106 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-019-04474-x

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  • Cu-doped TiO2
  • EEM
  • Humic acid
  • Photocatalysis
  • Sol-gel
  • TiO2